The government seized 21.84 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine aka “ice” and impounded 6.71-billion-baht worth of assets from drug suspects this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who is in charge of security, including drug suppression, acknowleged the annual report recently, according to Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, spokesman of the Defence Ministry, which also helps deal with drug trafficking.
This year, authorities also seized 590.71 million speed pills, 81 tonnes of marijuana, three tonnes of heroin, 581,882 ecstasy pills, 1.03 tonnes of ketamine, 521 kilogrammes of opium and 37kg of cocaine.
Officials arrested about 325,000 drug suspects, 10,619 of whom were allegedly producers.
Despite Covid-19 outbreaks, narcotics remained rampant due to high local and overseas demand, especially for speed pills and crystal meth, Gen Kongcheep said.
“Ethnic groups in neighbouring countries accelerated drug production and had armed smugglers transport their products to Thailand through natural border crossings,” he said.
Drugs were smuggled into the North and increasingly into the Northeast.
Most of them were destined for Central Plains provinces, including Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Bangkok, the spokesman said.
Drug trafficking networks were expanding through young people, jobless people and drug addicts who turned to be community-based traffickers.
Orders were placed online and narcotics were increasingly delivered by couriers. Meanwhile, heroin, marijuana and “ice” were hidden in cargoes and smuggled out of the country, Gen Kongcheep said.